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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:07 am
Noelle listened carefully, keeping her face as stoic as she could.

Still, she was a little jealous of Georgia. Cuvry, beautiful Georgia. But she didn't let it bother her. Because Tobi was here, holding her hand, telling her about his tango routine. She snorts and blushes at that. But when he starts to rub his thumb on her hand, she looks back at him, smiling a little.

"Well, if you need me to scare anyone off, I'm your girl. I don't know if you know this, but I can make a lot of smoke pour out of my mouth. It clears a room real fast."

There's a beat. Then she says, carefully "I wish I had another chance to dance with you. Not sure you would say the same about me. I know I'm not the most graceful on the dance floor."

They're heading out of campus at this point. Most everyone was inside- it was a little chilly. Noelle knew her mother had at least 2 extra jackets on her at a time, so she just stayed closer to Tobi, leeching off of his warmth. The sun wasn't set yet, but it was on its way. The sky was a gentle pink, with clouds streaking across the sky. She leans close to him, looking out at the world around them.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:28 am
"I'll keep y' in mind if the need arises." he says, his eyes crinkling a little as he looks over at her.

They walk a bit before she says what she says next. He listens, lets her take her time, takes a beat himself after she finishes to compose his own answer. "Ain't no one I'd love t'dance with more." he starts. "It ain't just about skill. Long as y' got the right partner, it's plenty enjoyable. And you're the right partner for me,darlin'" He closes his eyes and nods to himself. He pulls her just a little closer when he notices her shivering and folds her into his space. People have always told him he runs warm; he's glad to finally put that to good use.

They pass by the edge of campus and down the road leading into town. Tobi recognizes the trees here, they passed by them the night after he had his episode in the mutant history class. He had since dropped that class in exchange for an online course. He's glad at least one good thing came out of that class, that being the night he spent with Noelle in town. They had set out on a night like this at about the same time. The sunset painting the sky bright warm hues, a chill breeze in the air. Leaves scatter as they pass by. He's sorely tempted to fall into the sensations.

"Ain't nothin' more enjoyable that night than you n' me dancin'. Nothin'. I'd do it again in a heartbeat."
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:39 am
Noelle holds herself close to him, laying her head on his broad shoulder again. A perfect shelf. She listens and smiles, but it fades for a moment...

Their dance was the most enjoyable part of that entire night, but that's because, after that, everything took a sharp left turn into bedlam. She shivers again, but not because of the chill- because of the memory. The bruises had faded, but Noelle sometimes felt the fingers clutching on her. She told her mother this, and her mother provided her with a healthy coping mechanism. But she still felt like that night had been tainted by something rotten. And while it was among her happiest memories, it was also among her unhappiest. But Tobi was beside her, so she decided to let it go for now.

"You are just a great partner. Overall." Noelle grins at him "I think I'm able to do anything with you at my side."

They pass the small cafe that she had walked in and bought a sandwich for him, they passed where they had breakfast when she first met Agnes. Finally, Noelle leads him into the park where he had fallen asleep. In a remote corner, Karen and Joy were setting up a picnic. A red, flannel blanket was laid out, with a couple of light candles in the corners. There was a basket, which Karen was taking out plates, silverware, cups, and napkins. Joy was helping set up dinner- it looked like a sandwich bar, with different cheeses, bread, meats, and sides. They sat right next to the playground, and Noelle could see her sister itching to run to the monkey bars. She gave her mother a pleading look, but it was only returned with a soft comment. Noelle couldn't hear it, but she knew that her mother was asking for help.

Noelle looks at Tobi "You ready? They aren't going to hold back now."
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:53 am
She looks at him, and his brain goes all fuzzy and warm, just like it does every time she looks over at him. Partner, she had said. Partners, his brain echoed, lending it a more romantic edge. He smiles.

They keep walking past storefronts, past memories, before reaching the park where he had fallen asleep on the bench with her next to him. He sees her mom setting out a massive spread of food. He expects nothing less at this point, now that he's experienced Karin up close. The woman just seemed to give, and give big. He watches Joy look between the playground and the blanket before being roped into help setting up. He snorts out softly. It feels soft, like home, even if none of his own family is here. He looks over at Noelle.

"Yeah, I'm ready." he smiles at her, just for her, before the two of them walk forward towards the picnic dinner.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:05 am
Noelle smiles and leads him towards her family, her pulse quickening. She really hoped that her mother won't embarrass her. She squeezes Tobi's hand and smiles at her family.

"Alrigh', how are the lovebirds?"

Noelle turned bright red. Well, that didn't last long. Joy hops up and stares at the two of them, then to their hands. She scrunches up her face, and turns to her mom "I told ya they were kissing."

"Joy, stop." Noelle moans, but she sits down all the same "Just because two ADULTS are holding hands doesn't mean that they were kissing."

Except, Tobi and Noelle definitely had kissed. But that was beside the point. Noelle sits on her knees and looks at the food. She didn't really feel hungry and was about to say something. But her mother flashed her a look, and she quickly closed her mouth. Not a battle that she wanted to fight. She always lost.

"Mom! Can I please go and play before I eat? Please?" Joy's pleas are high pitched, and her mother sighs and nods. Joy runs to the monkey bars with a burst of energy, jumping up, and immediately starts flipping herself on and off the bars. Karen watches "It's crazy. They grow up so fas'. I remebuh tha' one crawlin'." She then looks at Noelle "You too. Ya grew up too fas', Noe." She sighs and looks at Tobi "Bu' who am I to reminisce? Pluhese! Eat! We've got plenty."

Karen starts to make a sandwich, but stops staring at Noelle until she does so as well.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:29 am
"Thank y' ma'am." Tobi nods and sits on the picnic blanket when Karen offers the food. There was so much here, all sorts of bread, meats, cheeses, vegetables. Absently he wondered if Noelle had a hand in this; he's pretty sure all she's ever seen him eat has been sandwiches. Nonetheless, he's grateful for it as he piles a mess of meat and other fixings onto a crispy sliced bun.

He watches Karen state down Noelle until she makes her own sandwich, quietly relieved. Noelle's eating habits has always made him worry about her, if she was eating enough, if she was doing okay. It was nice to know he wasn't alone in this. He looks away as he bites into his sandwich.

The Park's looking beautiful this time of day. They've still got a little bit until the sun really disappears, but until then, it's bathing the sky in a soft red haze. There's hardly a breeze, just barely a chill in the air. Next to them, Noelle's sister is climbing through the monkey bars with an excitement befitting her name. She's a spitfire, that one. Must be hard keeping her still on the daily.

He sits and enjoys the company. His slight flush from when they had first approached is still fading. He should be used to it, the way his own parents liked to tease him; hell, he had Agnes to regularly give him shit. It was different though, coming from a different family, Noelle's family.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:00 am
Karen watches carefully as Noelle takes a nibble of her sandwich. Finally. She loved her daughter more than anything in this world, but this past week had been torturous trying to get her to eat. She knew that she would never truly understand Noelle's aversion to eating, but she made it a goal to make sure she did.

She turns her attention to Tobi. Sweet, blushing Tobi. It goes without saying that she silently has christened him as one of her own. "So Noe's tol' me tha' you wen' and visited yuh paren's. How was tha'?"

Noelle watches her mother, then Tobi for a response. The food was delicious, and she wasn't having too much trouble eating tonight. She takes small bites and chews slowly. After a moment, she shivers again, and grabs another blanket from her mother's things, wrapping it around her like a cape.

Added to the background noise was Joy. Noelle was certain that her younger sister was going to force her and Tobi to play with her. Not that she minded, but she hoped Tobi would be okay with that. She also hoped he would be okay with her sister climbing him up and down, dangling off his arms.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:23 am
Tobi swallows the bite of his sandwich, turns his attention towards Noelle's mom. "It were nice." he nods. "Haven't seen 'em in a long while, figured it was time for a little visit down there." He pauses, thinking. "Down there? Up there?" He shrugs, just a small roll of his shoulders. "Don' know. It's further south, in the mountains. They moved from where we grew up 'bought se'en years 'go."

"Week were nice though. Pa took us up, Ma was waitin' at the door." he smiles, just a little small something behind the sandwich as he takes another bite. Pauses, chews, swallows. "Woods 're similar t'the ones were grew up in, though they ain't quite the same. They took us round the new place they built, we went out t'get dinner, y'know. Usual stuff. Prob'ly gonna be stayin' up there winter break 'stead a with Agnes this year." He turns towards Noelle with this last sentence, then turns back to her mom. "Twin sister." he adds as clarification.

He sees Noelle wrap the blanket a little tighter around herself and moves himself a little closer. This sweater's doing a lot to ward off the chill, but Noelle's looking a little cold. Little extra body heat never hurt.

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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:34 am
"That's great." Noelle smiles, leaning against him. She saw him moving closer to her and took advantage of it. It was slowly getting darker, but she didn't care. "I'm really happy for you. It sounds like it was a happy reunion."

"Soun's like a cunnin' family you got there. I haven't been down in thuh mountains in a lon' while. Used to go hikin' all thuh time. No' so much time ta anymuh." KAren grins brightly "Goin' home is one of thuh bes' things for people yuh age. Gives perspective."

Karen brings her knees to her chin, an uncanny pose that made her look even more like her daughter. She looks at the sky and the stars that are suddenly appearing. She grins at them, like old friends. Joy runs over to the group and begins to pile a plate with food, not bothering to construct a sandwich, just eating the elements on their own. She looks t the couple, who are squished together, and wiggles her eyebrows, giggling "Look at you two! Can't keep your hands off each other!"

Noelle stays close, smiling slightly "Whatever, Joy."
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:05 am
"Hikin' yeah?" Tobi says. "Beautiful, ain't it? You should come by some time, Ma'll make supper, we'll give y'a tour." He sounds like he's physically having to pull himself back from talking about the mountains and his home now that he's found someone who's been there as well. He settles on talking about his family instead.

"I guess they a'ight." Tobi nods. His face then brightens, like he's remembered something. "Oh yeah, Agnes got 'em in a picture." He roots through his jeans to find his phone. Once he does, he clicks it open and turns towards Noelle. "Only one'a the whole week. Gettin' em t'stay still enough for somethin' clear was a struggle, I tell ya. E'ery picture I got of 'em up till now been blurry as all sin." He sighs as he turns the phone towards Noelle.

The picture takes up his phone screen. It's night, but the sky behind them is hardly dark. It's streaked with stars. With nothing to disturb the view, high up as they were, every speck is a brilliant white against the deep, dark sky. There's an outline of the woods around them. Tall pines and ancient, untouched oaks stand tall and proud in the distance. But what takes the most interest are the two figures sitting around a softly burning fire. His mother sits on an old felled log. She's dressed in a college sweater Tobi had brought her and a long, handmade skirt. Her hands are curled around a mug of something warm, eyes warm towards the camera. Next to her, though, is a man Noelle would have never seen.

He's massive, easily near eight feet tall with a strong, thick frame and arms that look like they could lift the massive log underneath them with one strong tug. This is definitely where the twins got their hair. A mane of wild, dark brown curls has been loosely tied back with a thick cord. His strong jaw is covered by a course beard, and he's wearing a pair of sweatpants, a loose shirt, and what has to be a handmade flannel shirt with how big it is. One of his own hands is wrapped around a much larger mug while his other waves at the camera with a warm smile. The hand waving comes out a bit blurry in the photo.

"Tha's Ma," Tobi says as he points her out to both Noelle and her own mother. "And tha's Pa." he points to the large man in the photo. "Told em I was takin' it fer you and they stayed real still. Pa still insisted on wavin'."

He clicks the phone closed and puts it back in his pocket after they're done looking. Joy comes up then and Tobi huffs out a small laugh at what she says.

"It's real hard, bean. Yer sister's jus' too cute." He nods sagely.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:21 am
Noelle looks at the picture silently, a soft smile playing on her lips. They were the perfect parents for Tobi. Tall, proud, kind. Of course it was only a picture, but Noelle had a feeling about it. She stares at it, getting as much information as she can. The man was huge, but not scary. He looked... normal. Just huge and rugged.

"I can see thuh resemblence. Beautiful Family." Karen mused. Any other parent would take a look at those two and try to give some sort of false compliment to hide their uncomfortablness. Noelle's mother always sees past that. She admired the strangeness. "Yuh gotta let me meet 'em. Maybe I gotta take a trip down there."

Karen smiles brightly at Tobi "An' it is beautiful. I o' course prefer my own home, but somethin' abou' thuh Appalachian's jus' get me. I used to be all ovuh once I wen' to college. And there are only two othuh places I woul' consider stayin' fo' a while. Thuh mountains and thuh Ozarks. Ugh, beautiful. Love my home city, but it can get real nasty, 'specially in wintuh."

She knows she is nudging Tobi to talk more about his home- he clearly enjoys it and misses it. And she didn't mind. She loved listening to people who were passionate about a place or an activity. It gave her peace.

Joy pouts "Who you callin' cute, mister?" Without a second thought, she climbs onto Tobi's shoulders "I ain't cute, I am strong!"

Noelle's eyes flick up to her sister "Joy! You gotta ask people before you start climbing on them! We talked about this!" She looks at Tobi. Her speech was slipping away from its rigid clarity. It isn't really an accent or even the tip of one, just a more relaxed way of speaking. She wasn't putting effort towards it.

Joy blows her sister a raspberry, then leans down, over Tobi's hair, and meet's his eyes. "Is it okay if I climb on you?"
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:46 am
Tobi shrugs his shoulders as he responds, the motion purposefully a little playful. He feels her try to hang on, feels her smaller hands tug and tangle in his hair to keep her balance. "I ain't mind none, little bean." he replies easily, not seeming to notice or mind as his hair is tugged on. He turns his attention back to Noelle's mom as Joy continues climbing on him.

"Hell, yer more'n welcome t'drop by anytime." he starts. "Jus' get close 'nough, Pa'll find ya, lead y'the rest a the way." He shifts as Joy plants a foot in his back to gain balance. "Our neck a the mountains are somethin' t'see, I swear. Stars like y'ain't ne'er seen, trees older than the holy bible and untouched by mos' anything. Ma and Pa chose somewhere real outta the way, doubt most people e'en know they're there. We had t'leave our car further down and have 'im take us up."

"Lawd above, the views tho." He holds his arm out for Joy to grab. She does and tries to tug him down. He lets himself hit the blanket sideways. "Jus' us, the forest, an mountains for miles. It's gorgeous anytime'a day. Morning, when the light hits the dew and fog? Afternoon sunshine through the trees, hittin' the ground in bright, dappled patches? Sunset, with the lawd above brushin' colors cross the sky? Night, with all the stars in the universe on view, jus' fer us? Nothin' better." Joy has a solid grip on his arm. He pulls himself up, makes certain she's holding on, then stands and pulls her into the air with one arm. His muscles flex with the movement, but it doesn't look like it takes too much effort.

He swings her up with that arm and onto his broad shoulders to let her climb on him at his full height.

"Y'all from Maine, right? AIn't e'er been that far north."
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:15 pm
Noelle watches as her sister starts to tangle herself onto Tobi, in awe. She was in complete amusement by how naturally that he had taken to her, and vice versa. She continues watching, her smile growing. Her three favorite people were getting along. This was perfect.

"Sound's like thuh place ta be." Karen smiles, watching her younger daughter climb and tumble. "We'll need ta come and visit. Woul' like ta meet ya paren's firs'. They comin' down fuh family day? And yea, we're from Pawtlan'. Wha' gave it away?" She gives a small giggle and stretches out "Naw, it's a beautiful place. Rocky beaches, thuh wharf's, cobblestone streets. We live in my mama's ol' house and tha' part a town hadn't changed since she was a chil'. We live a apecie from the beach- course tha' means that any storm comin our way coul' be desimatin. With the nonsense tha' happen' on the coast, mixed with thuh col' o' bein so north. Bu' I wouldn' change i'. We live a lil while from downtown, in an' ol' neighborhood, so it's pretty quiet. Noe like's that."

Joy holds onto his hair "It's real soft! Also, you're much more stronger than Noelle. Of course, Noelle is WEAK!" From up above, Joy tosses an apple at Noelle, who catches it, rolling her eyes "Stronger than you'll ever be."
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:57 pm
"Should be, I invited 'em." he replies. "They tryin' their best, but they still get spooked real easy. I'll throw 'em yer way if they come." He listens to Noelle's mom speak, listens to her describe their town. It sounds lovely, just like the sort of place Noelle would like. Someplace quiet, a little old, and a lot of history. He says as such to her. Maine sounds like a whole other world. He ain't been to a beach in so long, can't remember if he ever has, honestly. Hasn't ever experienced a coastal storm, either. There are different hazards where he lives, different dangers.

He's pulled from his thoughts almost literally by Joy tugging on his hair. He smiles. "Well, thank y'kindly." He gives a little jump to knock her a little loose. She climbs back to her spot with ease. "High praise."
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:11 pm
"O' course, send 'em my way. I woul' love ta help howevuh I can!" Karen flashes a large smile, as she begins to make herself another sandwich. She looks over to Noelle and tuts "Hon, you need ta finish."

Noelle's ears turn bright red. She had put her food down a while ago, hoping that nobody would notice that she only had half. She slowly eats, chewing very slowly. Her mother sighs, and Noelle starts to chew a little quicker, sitting back. Karen looks back at Tobi "Whatevuh I can do ta help, lemme know. How was the care package, by the by?"

Joy snorts "'No problem, treeman." She swings herself down, hanging from his left bicep, laughing genially before hopping off and tagging Noelle. "You're it!" Noelle puts her quarter of a sandwich down, and chases after her sister. Joy is like a bullet, running around the park, but Noelle is keeping up quite well. She dives and tackles her sister, and then allows her to chase her.

Karen watches her children and she glows, just like Noelle does when she's proud of something that she said. The air is now filled with the laughter and panting of her kids running themselves ragged, and she relished it. She missed this side of Noelle- the wonder, the fun-loving, the carefree side that she had packed away until recently. Joy brought it out of her, as did the boy in front of her. She then reaches over, and takes out a thermos from the basket and a mug., pouring herself some warm tea. She holds the mug tightly, smelling it. Looking at Tobi, she takes out another mug "You wan' some?" The offer hangs in the air before she pours.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:23 pm
"'preciate the offer." Tobi nods as Joy hangs from his arm. She drops off onto the ground, runs over, and tags Noelle. He dusts off his pants as the two take off and settles into the spot Noelle left behind. "They'd prob'ly just appreciate someone near t'talk too." He pauses to think. "Y' know any sign? Ma's a touch hard t'understand when she speak, sign's jus' easier on e'eryone. She was darn near delighted Noelle knew it."

"Care package was..." He stops, starts again. "It was somethin' else. You weren't lyin', swear e'erything save the kitchen sink were in there." He shakes his head and leans back on his hands. "It was all real thoughtful, thank ya." Tobi looks over at her, catches her eyes. His thanks are genuine, his gratitude immense. "I'll use alla it, thank ya."

"What we're that paste sorta thing, by the by? Salty, spicy, went real good with a cracker. Had the word 'hum' somethin' written on top. Ain't ever had nothin' like it." He watches the two of them play on the grass. Hasn't ever seen Noelle run, he realizes. Hasn't seen her this playful ever really. Family must bring that out in her.

His attention turns back to Noelle's mother as she offers him a mug and some tea. It ain't his dark roast, but it's warm and it sure smells nice. He takes the mug as she pours the warm liquid inside.

"Thanks." He nods his head and takes a sip. It warms him from the inside out, fights the seep of cold in his bones.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:48 pm
"I know ASL, yea'. Had Noelle learn it after, ell, she changed." She pauses, thinking over her words carefully. It was something Noelle had shown extra sensitivity to. "Tain't nothin' wrong with it, but she jus' stopped talkin' all togethuh' after she got huh abilities. I thin' she though' tha' if she spoke any wor', it woul' come to, ya know? Bu' she also ain't the type a girl who will tell us wha' she needed- food, watuh, nothin'. So, I tol' her Da' tha' we needed ta figure ou' a way to ge' her talkin'.He agreed. Suggested ASL. I fel' so dumb tha' I didn 'sugges' it."

Karen settles, watching her children again, wistfully, but pulls her attention back to Tobi "I work at thuh library, see? So I got as many books I coul' fin' on it. Brough' 'em home, and Noe took to it like a fish ta watuh. She's a quick learnuh, like huh Da'. The nonverbal developmen' only lasted a lil while- maybe four month's. But' she stuck with it."

She doesn't comment about how she know about Tobi's mother's speech habits. Noelle had worked herself up in a tizzy talking about- trying to figure out what language it was, how she could figure it out. Karen laughed, put a hand on her shoulder, and told her to maybe just stick with the sign instead. Somethings weren't meant to be figured out. Another thing to be noted is that Karen passes by the statement of her ex-husband without another thought. She wasn't affected by it anymore. She still received child support checks, but that was where their correspondence ended. She hadn't tried to talk to him after he left, and he returned the favor. Shame. Almost 15 years with someone down the drain. Karen watches as Noelle leaps and takes Joy to the ground, before snapping back up and running away just as quickly as she came.

"Yuh Welcome. I'm glad yuh liked it, sweethuaht." She grins again "Oh, that's hummus. Noe's got you pegged as a savory eatuh, so I wen' through all mah recipes, an' foun' it. Didja like it?"

She pours the tea without even looking at it, looking back at her kids, who looked to be playing some combination of hide-and-seek and tag. Her grin grows and she see's Joy scale a nearby tree with an experts skill. Noelle begins looking around, her eyes fixed higher. Smart Girl.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:14 am
Tobi nods as he listens. "Ih can be hard, figurin' out yer different. We were blessed, Ness n' I. Parents were mutants, we were mutants, ain't no learnin' curve there. Woulda been stranger if we turned out normal." He sips at his tea slowly. "Guess I just always figur'ed she had a deaf or mute relative or somethin', or just got bored some day. Seems like the sorta thing she do. Smart as a whip, she is."

Fits with what he knew about her at least. It was believable, and just a touch sad. For a kid to be that scared, that ashamed to express such an integral part of themselves just ain't right. He's good she had her Ma, glad he grew up further away from society. He had hates that kind of culture shock the most.

His eyes track Karin as she speaks with a lazy sort of focus. When her eyes flick from him to her children, he follows her line of sight. Noelles playing with her sister looking happier than a pig in mud. His lips tip up behind his mug; he takes another sip to hide hsi smile.

"Hummus," he murmurs to himself after she says it. The word's unfamiliar to him. He pulls the word out, drawls in slow and low in his chest, turns it over on his tongue. He finds he likes it. " Liked it plenty. Still don't know quite what it is, but like it plenty."

He turns his focus back towards the girls. Damn, joy really is a climber. Hes impressed. Even if Noelle spots her, she might not be able to reach her.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:29 am
Noelle finally looks up at Joy, but turns away. She knows she wouldn't be able to climb up to meet her. So she decides to trick her instead. Carefully, she starts to look over in some nearby bushes. Joy hangs upside down from a branch, about to flip down.

Karen smiles at Tobi "I'm glad. It's mainly chickpeas. I can make more if ya wan' it." She watches her children again, but then places her gaze into Tobi's "I need ta ask ya a favor. I need ya ta keep an eye on Noe. An' I know ya do already, bu' I worry. Sepcially with all o' this nonsense goin' aroun'. She's holdin' togethuh well, but she tends to close up after situations like this. An' I don't wan' tha'. I've been tryin' so har' to get her to take care o' herself. She's doin' alrigh' but she needs remindin' every so often."

She sips her tea, keeping a level gaze "I nevuh seen her so fond of anothuh person, Tobi. Besides Joy. She gravitates towar' ya. Admires ya. Never stops talkin about ya."

Karen smiles as Joy tries to sneak up on Noelle, who does a quick sidestep, tagging the little girl, as she falls to the ground. Joy groans, heading into the bushes, which causes Noelle to laugh and help her out. She helps brush her sister off, who is now pouting. Joy also yawns, rubbing her eyes, before hopping onto her sister's back. Noelle begins to walk over to the two, holding onto her sister's legs. "I think it's time to head back."
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:23 am
Tobi absently wonders what a chickpea is before Karin starts to speak again, this time sounding more serious. Her gaze catches his and holds it. Her eyes are somehow more arresting than his own sister's or his family''s in this moment. Karin is a force, and Tobi respects that.

He listens to her request with the gravity it demands and nods at the end. "Ain't gotta ask me twice, ma'am. I'll keep an eye out." And he means it. He means every word and then some. He wants to keep her safe, keep her happy, keep her fed and well and rested. He wants to do it not because Noelle's mom asked, but because he wanted to, and because Noelle deserves to be happy and well. And while he's steady and sure in his feelings for her, her next sentence throws him for a loop. He runs his hand through his hair, the motion pulling the stands up and away from his face.

He flusters. His cheeks flush red under his freckles, the blush barely visible against his dark,tanned skin. His ears though, burn red. They're normally hidden underneath his hair, the curls hiding the very obvious tell from sight.

"Aw, ma'am, ain't nothin', I ain't nothing special." His voice is steady, but his face still burns. He drops his hand back down, the curls flopping back to cover his forehead and ears. "I'm jus' glad she's likes hangin' round. I like 'er plen'y too."

He watches Noelle come back over with Joy, the little girl perched on her shoulders. SHe's flushed with the exercise, a little out of breath, but looking happy. Happier than he's seen her in a while. He smiles,something so small and soft and fond before standing.

"I can take'er if she adverse t'walkin'." he offers.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:37 am
Karen gives Tobi a knowing glance. "You two are cute. Stick with it."

She knew what these two kids were feeling. She hoped that they would make it. Karen felt a tug at her own heart- she really did miss having her person next to her, supporting her. She was so used to doing things on her own, and while she wasn't afraid to admit that she was able to juggle everything, she must admit she misses having support from someone. Besides Noelle. Who was too young to have that weight on her shoulders- Noelle needed a nice and safe facet of her life. Maybe she found it.

While she starts to clean up everything, Noelle hoists Joy up a little higher as she starts going lax. The smile did her in. It was always soft, fond, and directed at her. She returns it.

"If you don't mind, that would be great. Thank you." Noelle transfers the small girl towards Tobi and starts to help her mother clean up, who now nods her head towards Tobi, looking at Noelle Just tell him.

Not yet.

Sudden tiredness hits Noelle, and she yawns, wiping her brow. She knows she looks a little wild- sweat, red-faced, her hair sticking to her forehead. She carefully takes her hair down, and it falls like a curtain around her. Once she is done cleaning up, she stands back up,  carrying the blankets and looking at Tobi. Her eyes are glowing with admiration and appreciation. "Thanks for having dinner with us."
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:05 pm
Tobi takes Joy easily from Noelle's arms and perches her on his own shoulders. He can feel the girl getting sleepy. Her head droops, her body goes lax, and she leans against his 'soft' (as she had put it earlier) curls. Broad hands come up to steady her legs so she doesn't fall, but he lets her rest. She seems pretty well situated where she is. He watches Noelle begin to clean up the dishes and the picnic, and feels a bit bad he's not able to help. They did invite him after all, it's only right for him to help clean up.

"Oh, welcome" he says to Noelle when she thanks him. It's low enough to not disturb Joy on his back. "Thanks f'r havin' me. It was real pleasant." He means it. It was nice meeting her family, playing with her sister, talking to her mom. Gave him a better idea of where Noelle was coming from, and he liked seeing her so happy. "Should do it 'gain sometime." He says as they start to leave the park.

She yawns and oh, that's cute. Her appearance is wrung out, she's tired, flushed, a little messy, but so very satisfied. Makes his heart thud a little extra to make up for the skipped beat it missed for a second there. Joy flops against his head as he walks, almost nearly out.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:18 pm
"We should." Noelle is genuinely so happy that this meeting between her two worlds was so successful. Tobi seemed less overwhelmed and flustered, and the way that he had made an easy connection with her sister made her so very happy.

Her mother kept giving her glances, prodding her to say something. Well, not just something. It was something really important. Something that she would prefer to say in private. She looks at Tobi, trying to silently say it, but the boy was preoccupied holding onto Joy. Yet, her eyes met his, intense for only a moment. The message was clear. She then looks away, towards her mother, who was setting off and out of the park. They walk for only minutes before they meet at a beaten down minivan. It's impeccably clean and well taken care of, but it was old and the wear and tear wasn't something that could be fixed with a fresh wash. Inside, there are piles and piles of books, neatly stacked, on two of the back benched seats. In the middle seats, there were coloring books and toys strewn everywhere. Everything is second hand and worn with love.

Karen begins to pack everything into the trunk, humming to herself, but Noelle looks a little sheepish, but it's quickly brushed aside. Tobi wouldn't care about this at all. She knew that. And so she stayed confident. She helps her mother and then helps Tobi put Joy in, buckling her to safety. With a gentle and sisterly motion, Noelle ruffles her hair, then turns to her mother and hugs her tightly, for a long time. Karen whispers something incredibly softly, and whatever was said makes Noelle's face flush when she steps away.

With a broad grin, Karen turns to Tobi "Twas a pleasuh ta finally meet ya, Tobi. Don' be afraid ta call o' write if ya need me."
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:03 pm
Tobi catches Noelle's glace. Though it has only a moment, the emotion there is deep, fond, and warm. Its something that makes his breath catch for just a moment. He has no time to even start to dissect that glance, to ask her about it. He gets the feeling that now isn't the time anyway, what with her mother right there. That's something better saved for somewhere private. Just the two of them.

Or he could be reading that wrong and she means none of that. Maybe the fluttering in his chest is premature, maybe the sudden heavy thump of his heart is unwarranted. He shifts Joy for something to do, but it the corner of his eye, he can see her mother give him a sly smile.

Maybe he wasn't seeing things then.

He puts that thought aside as they get to the van. He has place Joy in, stands to the side as Noelle and her mom hug.

"Plesure's mine. Thanks for the supper, was really nice." He nods. " I won't hes'tate too. See y'gain family day then?"
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

on Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:16 pm
"Of course! See ya then." Karen hops into the driver's seat. "Love ya both." She winks at her daughter, who turns away, smiling a little bit. Karen waves out the window, driving away, some old 70s hits playing on her radio. Noelle watches her go until she is out of sight, her face somewhere between longing and contentment. After a moment, she shakes her head and turns to Tobi, smiling just a little.

"So... That's my family. I know they're a lot. But they really liked you." She meets his eyes again, hitting him with that same intensity as before. She looks like she is desperately trying to say something, but can't find the words. She tries searching for them.

"Look, I know we haven't known each other long, and I don't expect you to feel the same way. This is going really fast, and that's okay, but I know what I'm feeling. I know what I'm feeling because I've never felt this way about anyone in my entire life. I feel like I've known you for so long, and I can't imagine my life without you anymore. And that's crazy because I'm always thinking that, whenever things are good, something bad is going to happen and I'm going to lose any semblance of sanity and stability. But with you, I don't worry about those things anymore. It's like I forget it. Or I forget it as much I can. And, as I said, I don't know if you feel the same way but-"

She breaks off, out of breath. She's practically radiating the strong emotion she's trying to describe, her eyes bright and her face flushed. She knew that she didn't look perfect- still messy from running and tackling, her hair blowing in the slight wind. But she wouldn't have it any other way. She's holding his hand now. Huh. She didn't realize that she grabbed it. Something about Tobi made her forget about her surroundings and her actions. They were close now, and Noelle stammers for a moment. Being this close, this intimate, she knew that Tobi could feel her heart beating like a jackrabbit, her breath quicken.
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Re: Highmauve: Noelle's Dorm

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